Bible Prophecy: Understanding the Times
False Prophets Making Merchandise of People
We live in a time of history that people are extremely fascinated with prophecy. Some charlatans have taken advantage of this and disguise themselves as Bible preachers and/or write books on prophecy. They gain a following and make lots of money making merchandise of people. If people were students of the Bible they would often see the fraud. However, due to ignorance of the scriptures, people are simply deceived by these self-proclaimed prophets. Benny Hinn has stated that Jesus was going to physically appear in Kenya, Africa; and, that Jesus was appearing physically to muslim dominated countries. I’ve seen him on one of his shows claiming that Jesus was becoming physically present with him on stage (although invisible). He told specific pastors to come on the stage while in the meantime telling others to go off the stage because Jesus doesn’t share the platform with anybody. He said that Jesus was going to prove his physical presence by doing something magnificent. The pastors would come forth slowly and then fall to the ground as they approached the center of the stage and people would speak in gibberish tongues. This was supposedly proof that Jesus was on the platform. He also proceeded to yell at people to keep a curious child away from the platform. If that child came on stage, he innocently would have caused harm to the fake "show" that Benny Hinn was manufacturing.
Over a decade ago I went to a meeting that The Prophecy Club was putting on. A man and woman led the service, with the man claiming to be an apostle and the woman to be a prophetess. They would ask “Does anyone want a prophecy?” People would raise their hands and all attention would focus on them as the religious psychic (aka prophetess) would “miraculously” know of a struggle they were going through and then prophesy of how God is going to make things better for them. Shortly thereafter a person said that God gave them a dream and that they saw that one of their leader’s homes was full of pornography. News of this so called “dream from God” spread and schisms flourished. The Prophecy Club was full of emotionalism, unbiblical teachings, and false prophecies. Mike Bickle, of International House of Prayer along with many other groups also have made false prophecies. There are the date setters of Christ’s return; and, there are events that happen that people will then write a book about and say it was a fulfillment of prophecy in scripture, when in reality the scripture said nothing of the event.
The Scriptures Warn Us of False Prophecies
We live in an era of doctrinal confusion. However, Jesus and his apostles did warn us of false prophets, date setters, and perceived miracle workers. Reading the Bible will help guard us from being deceived.
Matthew 24:23–27 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 7:22–23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
2 Corinthians 11:12–15 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
A BIBLE Based Prophecy Conference
Having mentioned some of the false, it is important to know true biblical prophecy. Christ would have us to understand real Bible prophecies, as he accurately warned us of false prophecies. With the increased fascination of Bible prophecy, it is even more needful today to teach genuine biblical prophecies regarding the end times. In Daniel 12:4 it says “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” George Sweeting in his book Your Future has observed the following:
“More than a fourth of the Bible is predictive prophecy. Approximately one-third of it has yet to be fulfilled. Both the Old and New Testaments are full of promises about the return of Jesus Christ. Over 1,800 references appear in the Old Testament, and seventeen Old Testament books give prominence to this theme. Of the 260 chapters in the New Testament, there are more than 300 references to the Lord’s return—one out of every thirty verses. Twenty-three of the twenty-seven New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy on the first coming of Christ, there are eight on Christ’s second coming.”
At Napavine Baptist Church we are hosting a Bible Prophecy Conference June 1-3. Not a conference where a man or woman claims to have new revelations and prophecies from God. Rather a meeting in which we go directly to the scriptures to see what God has said will come to pass as well as prophecies already fulfilled. Philip Sawilowsky all be our guest teacher. Philip grew up in a Jewish Orthodox family and was saved at the age of 16. He will be showing us from the scriptures, particularly Leviticus 23, how Jesus Christ is presented prophetically in the Seven Feasts of Israel. There were the spring and fall feasts, each holding special significance of God’s timetable. Come learn Bible Prophecy at Napavine Baptist Church June 1-3. We can live courageously in these last days serving Christ!